Payments can now be made through WhatsApp in one country, more to come
Well, Facebook wants WhatsApp to become an even bigger part of people’s lives and is making a big step towards that goal. WhatsApp just announced on its blog that for the first time, people will be able to send money through the app.
The service will be powered by Facebook Pay and is currently only available in Brazil but Facebook is looking “forward to bringing it to everyone”. How long that will take is not clear.
Naturally, there are regulations that you have to comply with when offering financial services and you need local banks to work with. In Brazil, Facebook already has 3 banks on board and is looking to add more partners.
The transactions will require a 6-digit PIN or your fingerprint, so don’t worry about people grabbing your phone and sending money willy-nilly.
The move isn’t very surprising. In China, the social media Weibo is used for a wide range of services, including payments, to the point that it has mostly replaced traditional payment methods like credit cards and cash.
Many users might be hesitant to trust Facebook with their financial information because of its poor track record when it comes to privacy protection. The company will have to prove it can be trusted if it wants this venture to succeed. We’ll see how that goes.